old lady at buddhist monastery wordpress irfan hussain

Nature’s work of art

I had read this some where, I wish I could remember where.

Youth is nature’s gift. Old age is nature’s work of art

This is the exact phrase that went through my mind when I looked at the final out put after processing this image. I saw this old lady when I was at the Bylakuppe golden temple. Bylakuppe is a Buddhist monastery which falls on the way to Coorg from Bangalore. More about Bylakuppe later. First I would like to present to you this beautiful lady.

old lady at buddhist monastery wordpress irfan hussain


Ever come across a face that the moment you saw, you felt a power that draws you towards them? I did. The moment I saw her I knew I had to take a picture of her. I would’ve never forgiven my self I had missed this bright face.

I asked her if I could take a picture of her, mostly in sign language by holding up my camera. She gently responded to me in English “Yes, you can”. I liked the way she said that with a slight nod.


The major issue that I faced when I shot this picture was the bright background. Also, and of course, I felt that the colour is a distraction.

The processing work flow for this image is more or less similar to what I have already shown in my Black and White Tutorial. The only different thing that I did here is that, in the tutorial the last step involves correction using patch heal tool. For this image, instead of the patch tool, I had to add a blank transparent layer over the image and colour the bright areas using a black paint brush. That’s how I created a completely dark background. I wanted to remove all the distractions in the image. Colour, background, etc. And focus only on the wise expression that her wrinkles created on her face.

So the first part was obvious. Convert it to grey scale. I did that using Nik silver efex. I also increased the contrast and the levels and curves. Now this gave some over exposed areas. In fact the background became even more brighter. And so I duplicated the image, reduced the layers and curves graph, and masked it on the original grey scale and covered the background in darkness. I reduced the opacity of the brush to 20% and painted over the face because even the face had some bright spots here and there.

I added a blank layer over the image and used black paint brush to cover some unwanted bright spots in the image. I finished off the processing by adding a vignette.

There are a lot more of my portrait shots in here.

4 thoughts on “Nature’s work of art

    1. Sí manoli, la señora era muy viejo. Ella debe estar alrededor de 80 o más, supongo. Utilice Nik Silver Efex plugin. Es lo mejor para la conversión en blanco y negro.

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